WAYMART – On Saturday Waymart held its annual Pride & Patriotism Parade and block party in honor of Flag Day.

Many people turned out for the parade. Participants included area veterans, Waymart Borough Mayor Jack Millard, Senator Lisa Baker, Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards, Congressional candidate for the 10th District Nick Troiano, Wayne County Treasurer Brian Field, members of Waymart Borough Council, borough and state police, area fire companies, the Wayne County Fair, Honesdale National Bank, the Western Wayne Marching Band, athletic teams and other area organizations.

Following the parade was a block party that had many food vendors, activities and entertainment for the public.

The most important part of the day was the memorial service that took place in honor of Flag Day.

It was run by Waymart American Legion Post 889.

Past Commander Ken Swan thanked everyone for attending the service.

“As we salute our flag, we pay tribute to our military, both those on active duty who still serve and the veterans who have already stood for us, on both the national and international scenes,” he said.

“Let us also recognize that our home front is served by numerous uniformed first responders such as you have seen here today, who also willingly lay their lives on the line to help make our communities a safe, healthy and as enjoyable as they are.”

Swan added we are all proud to have a long association with “Old Glory.”

“Whether it's a matter of flying her at our homes, saluting her at our schools, churches, patriotic ceremonies or marching and carrying her along streets such as these, we are indeed proud to hold her on high,” Swan stated.

“We have been honored to have served under her, to have transported and held services for our departed comrades under her and finally, to have her proudly stand watch over us as we are settled in our final resting places.

“Plain and simple she is more than just a mere piece of cloth. She is us and she is our country.”

An invocation was given, followed by the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.

American Legion 15th District Commander Tim French was the main speaker.

He is also known as Captain French.

He is a 27-year retired veterans of the United States Navy, having captained warships during both the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.

French has served all around the world.

He is additionally honored to be a member of a multi-generational family of veterans, extending back to the Revolutionary War. His wife, Mary Lou is also a Navy retiree.

French talked about the importance of taking care of the flag and why we need to make sure it isn't desecrated.

“We honor the flag not just because it's Flag Day, but because of it represents: freedom and the American way of life,” he said.

Taps was then played in honor of the departed.

Swan then reminded everyone that there is a retired U.S. mailbox in front of the post on Water Street that is painted red, white and blue.

“This receptacle is there for you to deposit your unserviceable or unwanted flags,” he said. “At an appropriate time we will conduct a formal ceremony for the respectful disposal of all such flags.”